One of the reasons I love writing about technology is because there’s always something new in the market. Today’s review is exciting because it plays into the Internet of Things. What’s that, you ask? Well it’s a term for internet-connected devices that span a variety of categories. Think smart lightbulbs, fridges, thermometers, and more. D-Link, a leader in home networking, has naturally begun playing in this space, and their newest product is the D-Link Water Sensor. If you have a pesky recurring leak in your home, the WiFi connected D-Link Water Sensor might be what you’ve been searching for. If you don’t, it’s not for you.
The D-Link Water Sensor is quite a unique concept. The device is a small fist-sized box you plug into an outlet, and connect a water-sensitive cord to. This cord can then sense water, and immediately sound an alarm and send a push notifications to any mobile device connected to the My D-Link Home app. In theory, this sounds like a useful product, but the hassles I faced while setting up the product and the unpredictable nature of leaks make it hard to recommend for most people.
Inside the box users will find the D-Link Water Sensor, which plugs directly into a wall outlet and connects to your WiFi network, the water sensing cable itself, some wall clips, and a non-sensing extension to monitor a spot further away from your power outlet. This extension cable is simply a standard phone line cable, so if you need to extend it further, you’ll likely have one lying around the house that you can use. It’s a smart feature that will be useful to many. All of hardware is high quality, and feels durable enough to last for years.
My frustration with the D-Link Water Sensor came during the setup process. After downloading the My D-Link Home software to connect my device, my sensor was recognized, but the setup repeatedly failed to complete. I had the same issue on both iOS and Android. Turns out, my unit was defective. D-Link quickly provided a new unit, which worked, but required about 8 tries to set-up despite being in fairly close proximity to my router. I have faith that D-Link will work out these kinks, but I can’t gloss over the frustration I felt while setting up this device. Once connected, the device worked flawlessly. Immediately after sensing water, a loud alarm was sounded from the unit and a notification was sent to both my iPad and Android phone. It should be noted that I also tried to set up the sensor in my basement, a common place for leaks, but the sensor failed to see my WiFi network, despite my phone having a strong WiFi connection in the same spot. This may be a deal-breaker for some, and would require the use of a WiFi extender to make work.
Once the D-Link Water Sensor was up and running, things worked well. I’ve been using the product for the past month and have had no issues. But I also haven’t had any leaks. There’s the inherent issue with the D-Link Water Sensor: most people don’t know where a leak will occur. Sure, everyone has spots they think might be troublesome, like under a fridge or at the back of the washing machine, but buying a sensor for each spot becomes costly and unrealistic. In the future, I can see these types of sensors becoming widespread as the price drops and consumers can essentially place WiFi water sensor stickers on their floors. For now though, I believe D-Link intends for their sensor to be used by people who have recurring leaks in a single spot. If you’re that person, I believe this product will be useful to you, but for most of the world, I’m not sure the D-Link Water Sensor really adds any value.